The Eagle Picher Laboratory demolition has been halted in Miami due to a change order requiring approval by ODEQ for additional cleanup, remediation work, and chat removal.

MIAMI- The demolition of the old Eagle Picher Laboratory building has come to a complete halt. The demolition of the building located at 200 BJ Tunnel Boulevard on the Truck Route in Miami is to make way for the construction of the City of Miami’s Route 66 Splash Pad.

“We reported in the past that they discovered more chat in that area than they had anticipated,” Miami’s City Manager Dean Kruithof said. “We knew we were going to have chat. There's just more chat.”

At Miami’s last City Council meeting Kruithof reported a change order from the demolition contractor was issued and approved by ODEQ for the cleanup, extra remediation work, and chat removal.

“They still need to approve the contract for that and they are going to be monitoring the air quality while that is taking place,” Kruithof said. “We believe that right after that they'll get back to finishing off demolition. Then after the demolition, we can get started on the Splash Pad.”

“I wanted to give an update on why that's been held off, and if somebody drives by and wonders what's taking place, the state has to go through that process for the change orders for the additional chat,” Kruithof said at the meeting.

In a statement later this week, Kruithof added "ODEQ has to sign off on the site after the chat is remediated. We understand the remediation will start next week and will take about five days. We are in the process of getting our specs ready to bid so we can let a contract after we get approval from ODEQ and Tourism.

"At present, we see nothing that would keep us from being ready next summer as planned. The unexpectedly large amount of chat is causing the delay, but ODEQ is taking all steps to remediate properly."

The bid opened on Feb. 21 for demolition of the building and was awarded to the low bidder, American Demolition of Tulsa at $115,663. The project’s bid letting included costs per ton per cubic yard for chat removal and approved disposal, additional top soil and soil fill, and removal of unsatisfactory topsoil incapable of supporting vegetation.

The project bids ranged from a high of $550,588 and averaged $296,500 from the ten bidders. The demolition project was estimated to cost $516,183 by ODEQ.

Olsson Associates served as project engineer for bid letting under the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) guidelines. Pre-bid inspections were mandatory.

The bid plans and project manual are specific on instruction and performance standards for the property and building demolition.

Olsson Associates project specifications submitted in Nov. of 2016 for the bid included among many other items listed a Dust Control Plan, Environmental Protection and salvage, and recycling or disposal of nonhazardous waste and disposition of hazardous waste.

The specifications included concrete removal and pulverization to a maximum of 4–inch size.

ODEQ’s spokesperson Erin Hatfield said in a later interview this week that American Demolition’s demolition work should commence on the project sometime next week.

“Chat removal is anticipated to take between 5 and 10 days. The City should be contacted to discuss the splash pad project,” Hatfield said.

Hatfield explained why the delay occurred.

“The amount of chat to be removed was unknown at the time the original bids were made. Upon discovery of the amount of chat to be removed, DEQ renegotiated the per unit cost to $18 per ton,” Hatfield said. “Chat was addressed in the original bid proposals as a per unit cost. Every contractor who bid on the original contract provided a per unit cost for chat removal."

American Demolition sought a $22 per unit cost in their original bid.

The change order was approved for $157,962 for chat removal in addition to the $115,663 the company bid for the project. The change order will be paid for with ODEQ funding.

Hatfield said the original bid did not include chat removal as part of the overall bid price and is priced separately at a per unit cost when asked whether or not engineering miscalculated the amount of chat removal or who determined there is a larger amount of chat than reasonably anticipated to merit a change order.

Hatfield said the change order relates only to chat removal, which has been found to be lead contaminated.

“Approximately 7,500 tons under the building and an additional 500 tons across the rest of the property,” she said.

An air quality mitigation plan will be used during the chat removal under ODEQ monitoring standards.

Fencing required by the bid has been installed per the original scope of the work and the subsequent addendum, according to Hatfield.

No other contaminants, substance or industrial waste has been found on the site in the demolition process other than the chlorinated solvent plume which was known about before work began, according to Hatfield.

The chlorinated solvent plume on the site continues to be addressed by ODEQ and the contractor.

“There is a shallow groundwater layer contaminated with chlorinated solvents. The sump pump creates a low spot that helps contain the plume on the property. The sump was installed only to dewater the basement of the building, but since it is keeping the plume stable, the pump will be kept in place,” Hatfield said.

“The sump discharges into the sanitary sewer, and DEQ’s contractors are periodically dewatering the basement. When the project is complete, the sump will be reconnected to the sanitary sewer and be contained in a manhole that the City of Miami will be responsible for maintaining," said Hatfield. "DEQ will ensure that monitoring wells on the property are in good condition after the demolition project is complete and will perform sampling.”